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On Wednesday 20 March WNO Orchestra will appear at St David’s Hall in Cardiff for our final concert in the 2018/2019 International Concert Series.
This will be the last chance to see our Music Director Tomáš Hanus conduct on the concert platform in Cardiff this season. The repertoire for the concert comprises of Brahms’s Symphony No 3, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 27, with soloist Paul Lewis and Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks).
The concert opens with Brahms’s Symphony No 3, considered his most lyrical and definitely, alongside the rest of this evening’s rep, a piece reflecting a ‘sunnier disposition’, perhaps due to the fact that Brahms wrote it while on holiday.
Pianist Paul Lewis plays Mozart’s last piano concerto, another lyrical piece and a concerto that many feel to be written without Mozart’s usual concern for his Viennese audience, and so more personal for that…almost liberated. Paul Lewis is co-Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition and was the first person to play a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in a single season at the BBC Proms in 2010. His recital career has seen him play around the world at venues including the Royal Festival Hall (London), Carnegie Hall (NYC), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Musikverein Wien and Konzerthaus Berlin.
One of Tomáš’s first appearances with WNO in his position as Music Director was conducting Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier in our Summer 2017 Season on the main stage. Performances that received great acclaim, with The Telegraph saying that ‘He and his terrific orchestra don’t miss a trick in a reading that is sumptuous and expansive as well as vivacious and witty.’ The Guardian also said ‘Conductor Tomáš Hanus’s handling of these (Strauss’s exuberant waltzes) – and of the humour and emotion of the score – is wonderfully sympathetic; it often felt as though Strauss’s tone poems were coming from the pit’.
In this concert Tomáš returns to music of R Strauss, with this light-hearted tone poem telling the tale of German folk-hero, Till Eulenspiegel, and his (mis)adventures, or ‘pranks’. (Interesting fact: the opening theme is often referred to as the once-upon-a-time music.)
Make sure to get there early to hear the Pre-Concert Talk, held on Lefel 1 at 6.30pm, where WNO Dramaturg Elin Jones will talk about the pieces and offer you additional insight into the music and performance.
ICS audiences have developed a warm relationship with Tomáš since his opening concert in 2016, so be sure to look out for the announcement of our concerts in the 2019/2020 Season.